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Being Middle Class in Bucharest: an anthropological perspective (2020-2021)

Field of study: Anthropology

Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted intermittently in the capital city of Romania between 2015 and 2021, this paper demonstrates that to be middle class in Bucharest means to engage in ‘grounding work’. This type of work enables class subjectification in a similar way to ‘boundary work’. Yet, ‘grounding work’ is less about drawing boundaries between the middle class and their class others, and more about highlighting the foundations that support what lies within and without these boundaries. The middle class becomes the moral middle of the society. This is a work through which middle‑class people speak and act themselves into existence, individually and jointly.

Keywords: middle class, subjectivity, morality, Romania, ethnography

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